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    Paradoxical career strengths and successes of ADHD adults: an evolving narrative

    Crook, T. and McDowall, Almuth (2023) Paradoxical career strengths and successes of ADHD adults: an evolving narrative. Journal of Work-Applied Management , ISSN 2205-2062.

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    Purpose: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-developmental condition that has frequently been pathologised in career research and broader society to date. The study seeks to reframe such assumptions through a qualitative positive-focused exploration of career stories of ADHD adults, elicited through a strength-focused technique with wide applicability for coaching and other career-based development activities. Design/methodology/approach: Situated in a strength-focused coaching psychology paradigm, the authors undertook semi-structured interviews with 17 participants, using an adapted feedforward interview technique (FFI) rooted in positive psychology (PP), to investigate individuals' strengths and successful career experiences. Findings: Narrative thematic analysis of the transcripts identified two core themes: “the paradoxical nature of strengths” and “career success as an evolving narrative”. The participants described how they have achieved career success both “in spite of” and “because of” ADHD. The use of the FFI demonstrated a helpful and easily taught method for eliciting personal narratives of success and strengths, an essential foundation to any coaching process. Originality/value: This research provides a nuanced overview, and an associated conceptual model, of how adults with ADHD perceive their career-based strengths and experiences of success. Further, the research shows the value of using a positive psychological coaching approach when working with neurominority individuals, using a successful adaptation of the FFI. The authors hope that the documentation of this technique and the resulting insights will offer important guidance for managers as coaches and internal and external career coaches, as well as providing positive and relatable narrative resources for ADHD adults.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2023 15:34
    Last Modified: 13 Oct 2023 20:39


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